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Allan McNish predicts Jamie Green for title glory in 2016

Photo: Audi AG

Current Audi Sport ambassdor and former Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) alumni, Scotland’s Allan McNish, feels that Britain’s Jamie Green is hard at work, getting ready for another chance at the drivers’ title, after a challenging season in 2015.

McNish, who raced in the DTM with Team Abt Sportsline for a solitary season in 2005, admitted to at the recent Autosport International Show in January that Green had made significant progress in 2015, despite eventually finishing second to F1-bound Pascal Wehrlein.

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“It was close and the RS5 DTM was the best in the field,” said the three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner.

“I know that the efforts that Audi are putting into this year are at full speed. Jamie  came out of his shell, and was basically the team leader within the Audi structure itself.”

The technical dramas that last year’s runner-up suffered at the Red Bull Ring last year was the start of a difficult patch for Green, who was leading the first race of that weekend, before his gearbox failed in the second lap.

Green’s prowess over the past decade in the DTM have shown that he is an experienced hand, as well as being able to make the best of any given situation.

McNish admitted that the 33-year-old had a “blinding season,” and expects him to be in the hunt for the title, when racing gets back underway at Hockenheim in May.

“He came second in the championship, and knowing the energy, the effort and the training that he is putting into this year, I know he’ll be in the fight for the championship again this season.”

McNish also was candid about his thoughts on the current format, saying that there should be changes made in the next set of regulations, to ensure cars remain competitive, even with minor damage sustained when drivers take risks.

“I don’t mind a bit of rubbing, going into the first corner, and I don’t mind that leaning on the other car,” explained the 46-year-old.

“What is unfortunate though, is that it takes off a lot of the aero devices on the car, when then renders it uncompetitive, and so the car basically stops.

“Even if it is not mechanically defective, it’s so uncompetitive with the current closeness of the grid. So you don’t race, especially with the way the parc fermé rules are, as you end up coming straight into the pits to prepare the car for the next day.

“So that’s one car out of the race. I personally think that it would be good to have a good look  to have these devices limited or make them so robust, so you can lean on them at the first corner, and have a bit of rubbing, but not bashing!”

In terms of the negative effect of how some drivers have struggled, it is very much agreeable that slight contact should not be as damaging to drivers’ campaigns, as the Scot feels that this will give the fans more of what they want.

“Altogehter, this means hat you have more cars on the grid, more chance of more overtaking and less chance of drivers’ having their seasons compromised and ruined very early on by a first corner incident.”

Green will begin his on-track preparation next week at the forthcoming three-day manufacturer test, which begins on Tuesday (23rd February) at Spain’s Monteblanco circuit. Along with the Briton, there are several others that have a chance of taking the title that Wehrlein will not defend, following on from his decision to favour Formula One in 2016.





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